The Gettysburg Presbyterian Church invites the Adams County community to a worship service Sunday, Dec. 15, from 3 to 4 p.m. in their sanctuary. The service, “Light in the Midst of Darkness,” seeks through a candle-lit time of music, scripture, reflection, silence, and prayer to be a place for people to acknowledge that Christmas and the holidays can be bittersweet. While many prepare for the holidays with joy and excitement, some see this time of year as a reminder that something is missing. This service recalls how for many Christmas and the holidays is a reminder of persons and events which have been a part of their lives and are now gone or changed.
“This time of year can be painful,” says Rev. Lou Nyiri, Associate Pastor at the church. “Perhaps this time of year has always been difficult. Broken relationships, unemployment, ill health, isolation – all of this can make us feel very alone while others celebrate. We will light candles for grief, courage, memories and love at this service.”
The expectation that the holidays are joyful times with families gathered around Christmas trees is embedded in our culture and tradition. The constant refrains on radio and television, in shopping malls and churches about the season’s happiness, getting together with family and friends, remind us of what we have lost or never had. The reality for many people is that many variables — family strife, loss and grief, workplace stress, financial concerns, economic factors, global conflict, personal situations, changing family dynamics, etc., infringe on what might otherwise be a joyous season.
“We need a space to acknowledge our feelings and know that we are not alone,” said Nyiri. “We hope to encourage one another to live into the days ahead. We’re holding out hope that darkness does not overcome light. We offer this time as a place where people can name and claim it’s a rough time of year and use light to push back darkness. We invite the Adams County community to join us as we acknowledge and encourage each other to move forward in hope, asking God to shine light into our darkness.”
The service will incorporate time for quiet, meditative worship allowing those gathered to sit in the stillness of this season and to light a candle in honor, memory or as an offering of something to God.
Gettysburg Presbyterian Church is located at 208 Baltimore Street (parking lot located off E. High Street). Contact the church office at: 717-334-1235 or visit their website: www.gettysburgpresbyterian.org.